Monthly Archives: January 2010

Still here

I went back to work, and work was merely being it’s normal dull, reassuring, mildly irritating, busy, finicking self. Nevertheless, by Friday I was weepy with tiredness. You’d’ve thought that The Powers That Be had made me rebuild all four storeys of book-stacks from scratch while fighting off a herd of wildebeest and negotiating Israeli-Palestinian peace. Actually, They made a valiant attempt to limit my hours on the front desk (thwarted by my colleagues falling ill in relays) and let me off anything involving heavy lifting.

And my colleagues were fine too. They divided neatly into those who came over to tell me they were glad I was back, and to hope I was better now, and then delicately nipped off again, and those who literally fled from the room when I came into it in their desperate desire not to be entangled in an awkward exchange (next time we met, we’d both pretend I’d never been away at all and talk earnestly about rotas and such until it all felt natural again).

Physically, the Cute Ute is lost in the Land of Meh. I have been spotting non-stop since, well, since the first day I mentioned I was spotting (when was that, by the way? Let me check – oh, right. Since the 14th. That’s more than two weeks ago now. ARGH). The cramps and back-ache are intermittent, and not so very bad. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had any all week. See? Meh.

I don’t know what the ‘meh’ means, though, in terms of whateverthefuck is going on inside. Have I completely miscarried and is this just my hormones settling? In which case, where the fucking fuck was all the blood? Is an apple-pip-sized Zombryo still clinging on with an HCG level of stupidly-just-above-totally-dead? (Probably). We shall find out on Wednesday, as I have taken the morning off work to haul ass down to Mothership Hospital for the Seventh Beta of Hell.

And I have to somehow, some-fucking-how, find the strength and with-it-ness to call the RMC about the blood-tests in December AGAIN, and call Doc Tashless to ask about referrals to Professor Regan and her Clinic Of Excellence In These Matters, and call the ACU and point out the end of May is a craptastic date for a referral, also, what the buggery hell do they want to see me for, given that they’ve sent me off to wait for IVF (ahahahahah)? Can they do anything about this situation?

I do not really have that strength right now. All the excitement and immediate fuss and bustle is over, and life is carrying right on with its usual spectacular tactlessness, and it’s now, now, that my sense of humour has completely deserted me and all I want to do is cry and possibly take narcotics.

I can’t bear the thought that I’ve lost at least three babies. I can’t bear it, I can’t bear it, I can’t bear it.

I have to bear it.

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FAIL day

I did not sleep Sunday night. At all. Not even in a dozing-between-glaring-at-the-alarm-clock-on-the-hour way. I lay under my duvet like a particularly rigid I-beam, and watched my thoughts hurl themselves endlessly against the bars. They’re not very bright at 3 am, my thoughts. And then, because I was not asleep, I kept needing to pee, so I kept waking H up. And H was being so very sweet about it. If I’d’ve been H I’d’ve beaten me senseless with the bed-side table on the third go-around. Perhaps he didn’t because I made a noble attempt to beat myself senseless on the bed-side table, by completely misjudging its position with relation to my ascending head as I forced a bend into my I-beam and levered myself off the mattress for the umteenth widdle.

Ow.

So Monday morning, I utterly failed to go to work. I was tired to the point of mental incapacity, my head hurt, and, you know, sod it. Sod it all. Sod it very hard indeed.

In an attempt to derail Bitter McTwisted from grinding on and on about my immense uselessness to the entire human race not least my own self, I spent the day playing phone-tag with the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic instead. Oh, and laundry and dishes. I did them too.

I finally got hold of Senior Consultant’s Secretary mid-afternoon, and explained to her that I had seen Senior Consultant at the beginning of December, and he had sent me off to have eight vials of blood drawn, and then referred me back to the Assisted Conception Unit who would allegedly discuss these results with me, and lo, after setting my attack-GP on them I had received the referral letter at last, and excuse me? 26 of May appointment? I also pointed out I had had another miscarriage since I had seen Senior Consultant, bringing my Official Count to three. And that making me wait until the end of May to even begin to discuss the results, let alone do any follow-up or repeat testing, was Not On.

The secretary agreed, and told me what I really needed to do was get my GP to refer me to Professor Lesley Regan’s clinic at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. She, you see, is Britain’s ultimate expert on recurrent miscarriage.

Oh.

Wait, what?

Is it normal for the secretary of a given clinic to tell people that actually, they want to dump this clinic and go to another clinic? Even in the NHS?

And then she delved into the depth of the Mothership computer system to find my blood-tests for me, and found that they’d all been creatively mis-filed under the pile of beta HCGs I’ve had this month and I had to explain again and again I’d had eight vials drawn. Eight. She could find four. Was she sure those weren’t the beta HCGs? She would check. Tap tap tap. Mutterings about people messing with the system in her absence. Eventually I heard the printer on her desk start up and she assured me she would take the whole lot to Senior Consultant and get his interpretation of them and have him get back to me.

And then told me I should really, really get myself referred to Lesley Regan.

I thanked her enthusiastically and hung up.

Naturally I googled the everlovin’ out of Professor Lesley Regan, and yes, she does head the biggest Infertility and Recurrent Miscarriage clinic in Britain, and has written a book, and did all sorts of pioneering work on Hughes Syndrome.

So. Um. I must admit it was a very clever way for the secretary to distract me from the royal half-assedness of my blood-test results/ACU referral.

And now I must put my Big Girl Panties on and really go to work.


The Positive Thinking Fairy and Bitter McTwisted go baking

I mentioned, in my last post, that today I would be bigging up some more of my exceedingly cool friends. And so I shall. Because, seriously, the sheer overwhelming coolness of my friends makes me feel quite giddy.

I met Ben and her lovely husband back in the days when they were still Ben and her lovely ‘it’s complicated’. I met them on the internet. In, I think, 2004? Golly, you guys. Six years! I knew I owed you both dinner and a drink and stuff, but I think I also now owe you some kind of award for longevity. I met my Friend Who Knows Who She Is at about the same time, or, at any rate, on the same site, and she called me nearly every day while we were on exploding tube watch. And, as she is a funny, funny lady, cheered me up immensely whenever she did so. And I owe her and her family dinner as well (hey, Sol, tell B we now have a Wii Fit! He can practice ski-jumping this time!).

Therefore, as far as I am concerned, the internet is the best place to make friends. I was proved right yet again in May 2008. I was having my first miscarriage [pause while we all contemplate what a depressing phrase ‘having my first miscarriage’ is] when I first came across the astonishingly funny and adorable Hairy Farmer Family. It says a lot about just how funny HFF is that I promptly, despite own agony of mind, hurled myself into her (then, alas, all-too-short) back-log bellowing ‘nomnomnomMOAR FUNNIEZ’. But wait! HFF promptly commented back! And proved herself sweet and kindly as well as hilarious. Within weeks, I was all, ‘this is my long-lost twin sister and soul-mate and general all-around person I want to have a drink with’.

And then I contrived to invade her house and eat her cakes.

On Friday, proving that a year-and-three-quarters have taught her everything she ever needs to know about The Way To May’s Heart, she came all the way down to the Great Wen to have lunch with me.

And, because she is witty, and kind, and knows what The Bad Sad Place is like (and really, Universe? Someone as sweet and kind as the Hairy Farmer Wifey should know the Bad Sad Place? Universe, you suck), and because she is, as I mentioned, very much a girl after my own heart, she made me eat my own words:

(I did save some for H. I am so good to that man).

(Um, yes, I had already eaten one by the time H took the photo. I am human, you know).


And now, a pretty

My lovely friend Ben and her equally lovely husband sent me these a few weeks ago, as a ‘damn, it’s a Zombie Embryo’ consolation gift.

Britain was still under inches and inches of shiny white fluff at the time, so H put on his photographer’s zen mellow and spent an afternoon in the yard with his second-best camera (while I lay in bed and stared irritably at the snow-reflections on the ceiling). And then the flowers came back into the warm and decorated the dining-table for over a week. And then, we got to keep the rather glamorous green glass vase. Yes! They came with a vase! Fabulous present, eh?

And THEN it took me this long to remember to ask H to email me a jpg of the flowers, so I could boast to the internets about just how amazing and wonderful my friends are.

I’m a bit… scatty… at the moment. Sorry about that.

More boasting about my exceedingly cool friends tomorrow. Stay tuned!


By the living hokey, ENOUGH

I am very very sick of trekking down to Mothership Hospital for repeat beta HCG tests. I have now had six of them. SIX. Yes, six (6).

Admittedly this one was the epitome of How These Things Should Go. Arrive at the Early Pregnancy/Acute Gynaecology Unit. Tell the receptionist why I’m there. She sees I am not in the diary and looks back, ah, yes, I was here last week. She now knows where my file is, rescues it, and hands it to the Staff Nurse. Therefore, I’ve only just taken my coat off and sat down in the waiting room when the Staff Nurse calls me in to the exam room for the needling. (H declines to come and hold hands (oh, bless him. He is determined to be supportive, but would be more hand-held than hand-holding while the the steel was being sunk into my flesh)).

Staff Nurse is very kindly and friendly and extremely gentle with the needle, and goes over my history quickly with me while we wait for the computer to log her in so she can print out my test label. She is a little surprised that I have not started bleeding yet. She assures me that, oh, I will bleed. Hurrah. She tells me they will call me back late this evening – they are very busy – with the results.

I go home, and H goes on to work.

Staff Nurse then startles me by calling back mid-afternoon (what? Why?) with the results:

17.

(Zombryo, darling child, what on earth are you loitering about in this distressing and nerve-shredding manner for? Shoo, I say, shoo).

Staff Nurse also tells me that while the doctors at the EPU think things are going more or less in the ‘right’ direction (AUGH), they do not wish to discharge me yet. What with the weirdness of the dates (to recap, I got a positive pregnancy test on CD 15, while bleeding quite lavishly, leading to a ‘well, was that a period or wasn’t it? Is this the same miscarriage as I had in October? (Almost certainly not, as I’d been released then with a beta of <5). When the hell did I ovulate?‘ moment of medical disorientation), they want to be absolutely sure my HCG has gone back to Officially Totally UnPregnant before they tidy my file away. So I’m to go back in two weeks for a (please God) final stabbing.

OK, fine. Fine. No, really, fine.

I need to cry and eat ice-cream now.


Not in a good way

Item – At some point this morning I found myself in a decided attitude of mope and dejection. My back hurt, I felt almost catatonically tired. Everything seemed grey and tedious. What the hell, I asked myself, is the matter with you, May? Anyone would think you were depressed. And then, with a heart-stopping jolt, I remembered. I’m miscarrying. Very, very slowly. Ah, well, that explains the foul mood and could my heart stop thumping quite so fucking painfully now, please?

Item – Yesterday H and I went for a walk, to take advantage of the brief glimpse of sunshine. I felt quite well while walking, and almost happy. I have no idea therefore why I spent the evening feeling like I’d been kicked in the sacrum by a passing cart-horse. H ended up by getting out of bed after midnight to make me a hot-water-bottle. I wasn’t very gracious to him about it neither.

Item – And I had a fight with H on Saturday, magnifying one small snitty remark on his behalf into a gigantic Woe Is Me My Life Is Fail melodrama. Oh, but I dislike myself intensely at the moment.

Item – I went to see the GP, to discuss important matters such as Going Back to Work, and Where The Hell Is My Follow-Up Appointment With The ACU or Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic Because I Have Frequent Flyer Miles Here, People. I managed to bag an appointment with Doc Tashless, who was truly upset to see me again. The poor man has been treating me since I was That Girl Whose Period Wouldn’t Stop, more than three years ago. And now I’ve morphed through That Girl Who Can’t Get Pregnant into That Girl Who Can’t Stay Pregnant. It sucks. Doc Tashless thinks it sucks. Doc Tashless had a medical student sitting in with him, and explained to said student why it sucks, without me having to refresh his memory of any of it. I ❤ Doc Tashless.

Item – Doc Tashless was perfectly happy to sign me off work until February, but I gave him a wild-eyed look and said that really, I'd be happier pretending everything was normal, going stir-crazy etc., so he signed me off until next Monday, on the sole condition that I promised my work-place were understanding and wouldn't put much pressure on me and I was to flounce home on any provocation at all with his blessing.

Item – Doc Tashless was disgusted that the RCM hadn't got back to me yet. Dis. Gusted. I didn't even have my blood test results yet? Good heavens, they were taken well over a month ago. So he promised me he'd write to them in the strictest terms. And muttered something under his breath about 'simple aspirin' and 'preventable' which I chose not to listen to because all this sympathy and being taken seriously was actually giving me a panic attack and the whole subject of any of this being preventable if the RCM had been a little more organized [Warning! Train of thought heading to Bad Place! Abort! Abort! Abort]

Item – And having got through the social niceties of extracting myself from the consulting room, I ran home. I ended up sitting on the stairs, heart banging like a trip-hammer, in floods of tears and trying desperately to stop fucking crying right now this minute.

Item – Yeah, I’m so ready to go back to work.

Item – Case in point: Anyone, under any circumstance short of imminent death, complaining about pregnancy symptoms or how much they dislike being pregnant, can just fuck off and play in traffic. Especially those members of the Mummy Club that had taken over the doctor’s waiting room, complete at least one snot-smeared spawn each. The Positive Thinking Fairy knows damn well that pregnancy is a hard, uncomfortable, anxious time ending in mucho pain and drama and a bazillion more responsibilities and no sleep. The Positive Thinking Fairy has gone to the Algarve for a few weeks and is merely nagging me by post-card. Bitter McTwisted is the captain of May and she says, fuck OFF and play in traffic.

Item – Lower back still painful, with intermittent ‘hello, your period is due, ooh, tomorrow?’ cramps and occasional light spotting. It would be nice if this didn’t last all the way until my ‘period’ (were I going to have one) would be ‘due’, in a couple of weeks time.

Item – I peed on a stick this morning, to match the one I peed on the day of the last beta (oops, I forgot to mention that before. Sorry). Do I need to explain to any of you why I did this? Thought not. Anyway, both sticks, with sensitivities of, I think, 25 mIU, show identical, ghostly pink second lines. Still piddling out ridiculously small amounts of HCG then. Zombryo lurches on.


Nothing

I have back-ache, occasional cramps, and slight spotting. Still. For days now. Nothing else has happened.

I am so tired.

H is miserable.

And that is it.